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Job Board

Aquarist Coordinator

Butterfly Pavilion

Full Time
Posted December 23, 2021

Title: Aquarist (Coordinator)

Position Reports To:  Director of Animal Collections

Direct Reports: Interns/Volunteers

About Butterfly Pavilion: Here at Butterfly Pavilion, we transform the way people think about invertebrates. These small but mighty animals that surround us are so much more than people think. They are everywhere because everything depends on them. They are the hidden heroes of the animal kingdom. As the leader in invertebrate knowledge, inspiration and connection, Butterfly Pavilion works to foster an appreciation of these critical animals by educating the public about the need to protect and care for threatened habitats globally, while conducting research for solutions in invertebrate conservation. Whether it is providing unique, hands-on learning experiences in our exhibits and educational programs, conducting new research that sets the standard for zoos across the country or building innovative solutions for species and habitat conservation in countries around the world, Butterfly Pavilion is leading the way in ensuring invertebrates are protected for the future.

Looking forward, we are committed to providing the most enriching experience for our audience, being recognized as a scientific authority, and being a leading educational resource on invertebrates. To this end, Butterfly Pavilion has begun the initial stages of launching a $40 million Capital Campaign to expand Butterfly Pavilion into the Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation (CIRC) in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in 2025.

A large part of who we are as an organization is how we interact with each other. Valuing our facility, guests, donors, and our team is a priority, without these puzzle pieces we cannot make it all work, these Core Values guide us throughout our day.  We Love What We Do at Butterfly Pavilion, we Make Science Cool by Going Above and Beyond for all guests, donors, and team members while also Leading Change in invertebrate conservation. We Know Our Stuff and work to have a healthy culture by Being Positive and Welcoming to All. These are not just words, but words for us to live by here at Butterfly Pavilion.


Core Values:

Make Science Cool: Science has the power to change the world and education is where it starts. We immerse our guests in the world of invertebrates, creating a safe, comfortable atmosphere to make connections to nature, filling guests with wonder and inspiring them to embrace their role as stewards of our environment.

Go Above and Beyond: It is “our job” to find a solution, even if we did not create the problem. We never stop with okay, instead striving for world class in all we do.

Love What You Do: As a conservation organization, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do the work we do each day. Independ of role, project or task, we stand behind that work with an unwavering belief in the significance of our efforts to support our mission, knowing our passion will inspire others to join our efforts.

Be Positive: We approach challenges with vibrant optimism. Always assuming positive intent, we embrace a productive problem-solving attitude and a supportive team-oriented atmosphere.

Know Your Stuff: We are the experts on invertebrates and their conservation. We are well-informed and present knowledge in a way that is accessible to the public and allows us to embrace our role as a community leader locally and globally.

Lead Change: We approach our work with a sense of exploration and adventure, pioneering new ways to view the world in which we live. As problem solvers, we seek new ways of tackling challenges and approaching opportunities.

Welcome All: We pride ourselves in embracing diversity of thoughts, beliefs, and lifestyles. We embrace a kind, compassionate, and engaging approach, welcoming all people in the work we do. We seek a competency of cultural understanding and social responsibility to make it as easy as possible for others to join us in conserving our natural world.

FLSA: Hourly – Full Time, 40hrs/week

Hourly Rate: $19 to $22/hr + Full Benefits

Position Summary:  The Aquarist coordinates and provide vision for the curatorial department’s aquatic invertebrate collection and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of quality and maintenance of all Butterfly Pavilion aquatic collections including but not limited to organization and coordination of schedules, animal acquisition, animal maintenance and husbandry, animal exhibitory and record-keeping. The aquarist is responsible for the day-to-day operations of various exhibits and behind the scenes operations. These duties include daily monitoring and maintenance of all exhibits: husbandry/breeding, animal health, animal needs, exhibit cleanliness, quarantine and record keeping. Assists or leads research and conservation projects focused on aquatic animals.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

  • These duties include daily monitoring and maintenance of all exhibits: husbandry/breeding, animal health, animal needs, exhibit cleanliness, quarantine and record keeping.
  • Maintains the aquatic invertebrate exhibits working with staff, programs, exhibits, and facilities. Does minor maintenance and repair.
  • Coordinates Aquarist interns/volunteers.
  • Is responsible for day-to-day quality and maintenance of exhibit animals and enclosures.
  • Provides input to Director of Animal Collections on departmental vision, direction, and aquatic budgetary development.
  • Engages Butterfly Pavilion guests and constituents, answering questions as a source for accurate invertebrate identification and information for the community.
  • Interacts with guests when moving through the building, particularly when in Water’s Edge. Answers questions from visiting guests as well as questions from those who call/email with aquatic invertebrate related questions.
  • Provides staffing support to terrestrial and transient invertebrate collections, as needed.
  • Assists Programs and Interpretation branch by providing professional accuracy of educational curriculum and content.
  • Participates in or leads the creation and execution of volunteer or staff trainings as necessary.
  • Serves on Exhibits committee, providing invertebrate information for interpretive signage and design and development of current and future exhibits relevant to the aquatics collection.
  • With assistance of Directors of Animal Collections and Research & Conservation, supports/leads participation in aquatic research and conservation projects, such as the AZA-Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project.
  • Supports and/or leads grant writing for projects.
  • Supports in developing invertebrate information for the website.
  • Upholds AZA standards and follows, as well as updates, Butterfly Pavilion animal policies.
  • Other duties as assigned


  1. Project/time management
  2. Communication skills
  3. Teamwork
  4. Department knowledge
  5. Detail oriented
  6. Innovation / Creative Thinking
  7. Initiative
  8. Decision making

Qualifications/Experience: Possesses a degree in a biological field of study. 2+ years of experience working with aquatic invertebrates or animals in a zoo, museum, or similar facility. Knowledge and experience in the husbandry and propagation of coral and/or jellies in human care, highly preferred.

Additional Requirements: 

  • Required attendance at monthly all staff, branch and department meetings and additional trainings and Butterfly Pavilion functions as designated essential by department and/or organizational need.
  • Employee must adhere to Rosie’s Rules, check email and phone messages regularly, report injuries within 24 hours, and alerts immediate supervisor and necessary team staff when calling in from work.
  • Attend leadership meetings and trainings, as required.

Work Environment / Physical Requirements: 

While performing the responsibilities of this position, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the position will encounter.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

At Butterfly Pavilion, the employee is occasionally exposed to moderate to loud environmental noise for extended periods of time.

While performing the responsibilities of this position, the employee is required to talk and hear. The employee is often required to sit and stand, use their hands and fingers, to handle/feel/grasp. The employee is occasionally required to reach with arms and hands, climb or balance, and to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. Vision abilities required by this job include close vision. Employee should be able to lift, carry and items up to 50 lbs.

How to Apply:

Butterfly Pavilion is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages people of all backgrounds to apply for open positions and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or veteran status.

Applicants must submit a Resume and Cover Letter to the following link:  https://www.applicantpro.com/openings/butterflies/jobs/2148115-20970.

Position is open until filled.  No phone calls or drop in’s please.

Compensation: $19.00 to $22.00 per hour

Apply Here